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Posts Tagged: "automotive technologies"

Identifying Non-Traditional Competitors: Spotting Aliens in Traditional Technologies

We have seen it with respect to the largest tech companies entering the banking market, and now we are seeing it with tech companies entering the automotive industry. In this free webinar we will just the automotive industry as an example as to how one can identify non-traditional competitors entering traditional markets.

ITC Institutes 337 Complaint Accusing Toyota Vehicles of Infringing Infotainment Chip Patents

On Thursday, June 7th, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it was instituting a Section 337 patent infringement investigation of automobile infotainment systems being imported into the U.S. based on infringement claims asserted by major semiconductor maker Broadcom. Broadcom is alleging that a group of Japanese automakers and tech companies, including Toyota, Panasonic and Denso Ten, over the sale of head units, rear seat entertainment units, units for displaying information or entertainment, as well as cameras and other processing components used in those units and the automobiles containing such units.

Autonomous vehicle development keeps creeping forward to a self-driving future

Autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles are coming, even if it’s going to take some time for the technology to become fully operational on U.S. highways. When the technology catches up with the commercial demand, however, there’s little doubt that the market for autonomous vehicles will be huge. News reports from last June indicate that market research firm IHS Automotive published a report forecasting that almost 21 million driverless cars will be driven on roads across the world by the year 2035… Despite forays into the automotive world by Silicon Valley contenders like Tesla, Google’s Waymo and Uber, it seems that the coming generation of American research and development for self-driving cars will be centered in Detroit, long the center of the American automotive world.

Evolution of Auto Exhaust Catalysts: Dr. Haren Gandhi invents three-way catalysts for cleaner exhaust

Improvements in fuel economy and reduced emissions are largely the result of fuel additives and exhaust catalyst equipment working to clean up the chemicals emitted when fuel is burned. This Friday, April 7th, marks the 25th anniversary of the issue of a seminal patent in the field of automotive exhaust catalyst. The inventor, Indian-born American inventor Haren S. Gandhi, is an inductee this year into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Today, we’ll take the opportunity to revisit our Evolution of Technology series to look back at the development of technologies which have left us with cleaner breathing air than we would have had thanks to Americans’ heavy reliance on automobiles.

Microsoft, Toyota announce new licensing agreement for connected car IP

The licensing agreement, which covers patents directed at connected car technologies, is the latest partnership between these two companies seeking to increase entertainment and autonomous tech platforms within vehicles.,, In recent months, Microsoft has been ramping up licensing programs seeking to encourage the use of its patented technologies by auto manufacturers. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the company announced the Microsoft Connected Car Platform, a development platform for connected car technologies using the Azure cloud.

Alphabet’s Waymo files patent and trade secret lawsuit against Uber

Waymo’s suit includes counts of infringement for each of the four patents asserted in the case. The suit also includes counts for violations of the Defend Trade Secrets Act and state claims for violations of the California Uniform Trade Secret Act. Waymo is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions, damages for patent infringement including trebled damages for infringement of the ‘922, ‘464 and ‘273 patents and punitive damages among other forms of relief.

GM and Honda announce joint investment in fuel cell development, marrying two largest patent portfolios in the field

The official announcement released by both GM and Honda notes that both companies enjoy patent portfolios related to fuel cell battery technologies, which are among the world’s largest. A review of clean energy patents granted during 2015 by the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) shows that GM and Honda rank first and second, respectively, among companies that have been assigned U.S. patents directed at fuel cells between 2002 and 2015; the press release from the companies contradicts this slightly, claiming that Honda is third-place in this category. During the 14 years surveyed by the CEPGI, GM has earned 918 U.S. patents on fuel cells and related technologies while Honda has earned 757 U.S. patents.

Ford receives record number of U.S. patents during 2016 after consistent increases in R&D

Dearborn, MI-based automaker Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) recently issued a press release, which heralded the 1,442 patents granted to the company by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during 2016, a total which Ford says is the most among any automaker filing for U.S. patents that year. That total marks the largest number of U.S. patents awarded to Ford in any one calendar year, a 25 percent increase over 2015 which was itself a record year for Ford patent application filings. Globally, Ford received 3,200 patents grants during 2016.

DOT unveils new policy guidance for autonomous vehicle developers

The Obama administration is hoping to add some clarity to the regulatory picture by unveiling a new set of guidelines in a 100-page federal automated vehicles policy document. The guidance requires autonomous vehicle developers to provide a safety assessment to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discussing 15 areas of safety evaluation. The guidelines, which have been issued through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), identify 11 areas of safety evaluation related to cross-cutting technologies that apply to all automation functions on a vehicle.

Automakers own most vehicle infotainment patents despite gains by Android Auto, Apple CarPlay

Autonomous self-driving technologies may be grabbing headlines for vehicle manufacturers but it’s hardly the only direction in which carmakers are innovating. Infotainment systems bring a smartphone-like platform for software applications straight to the dashboard, providing everything from navigation assistance to streaming music services and even phone call capabilities. Knob-based radio and air conditioning controls are being replaced by touch-sensitive displays and voice-controlled services connecting drivers and passengers to Internet-based services. According to market research reports, the market for in-car infotainment systems is expected to rise from $14.4 billion in 2016 up to $35.2 billion in 2020.

The new Elon Musk master plan for Tesla reeks of overconfidence

Elon Musk’s updated master plan reeks of overconfidence. He envisions entire fleets of autonomous Tesla vehicles while missing recent sales targets by thousands of units. He wants to pump massive amounts of money into R&D for autonomous technologies and new types of vehicles, but the company is having trouble with bleeding warranty costs which are double the amount seen at Ford or GM. The lack of timeline details in the master plan was not well received by financial analysts and Tesla stock was down by 3 percent in the days after the announcement.

The patent ‘troll’ fables of the automobile industry

The “troll” narrative of Nakajima and Snow will have us believe that any patent lawsuit to resolve a dispute constitutes abusive litigation. Economic folklore devoid of scale and proportion should not mislead this blog’s readers. First, even if one takes at face value Nakajima’s “six to seven figure” cost for settling per suit, those costs amounted to about $100 million in 2014. This is less than 0.01% of the $1.1 trillion in U.S. automobile sales in 2014, hardly a “serious drain on the automobile industry.” The growth in number of suits may simply be a result of the automotive industry shifting from traditional incremental improvement into adoption of new technologies developed outside that industry such as radar, sensors, navigation, video imaging, smart displays, batteries, electric propulsion, and computer-controlled systems. Second, we have shown that allegations that the Selden patent litigation “stifled the infant automobile industry” are false. We do so in-depth elsewhere by marshalling historical empirical evidence from primary sources in our article The “Overly-broad” Selden patent, Henry Ford and Development in the Early US Automobile Industry.

Eagle Harbor Holdings to sell second-largest portfolio of U.S. patents related to autonomous cars

Eagle Harbor Holdings (EHH) had amassed the second-largest portfolio of patents related to self-driving and autonomous cars, only trailing high tech developer Google in that field. Eagle Harbor was formed in 2010 by the father-son engineering team of Dan and Joe Preston. Their work in the field extends at least as far back as 1997, when they formed the vehicle tech development firm which became known as Airbiquity. EHH is now looking for prospective buyers for a portfolio with 74 total assets, including 42 patents issued and 17 patent families.

Looking at text blockers and textalyzers during Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and many organizations are gearing up their pitch for greater safety on the roads by avoiding the need to text or take a phone call while driving. Here on IPWatchdog, we’ve discussed the topic of distracted driving and how autonomous vehicles and device disablement technologies might be able to address some concerns of distracted driving. With the month-long observation of this issue upon us, it’s a good time to revisit the world of innovation to find if new answers to the problem of distracted driving are being developed.

How Autonomous Vehicles Work: The different shades of autonomy ranging up to a fully self-driving car

When considering what makes an autonomous vehicle truly autonomous, it’s important to note that there are different shades of autonomy leading up to the fully self-driving car. One of the organizations which maintains a rubric helping to define autonomous vehicles is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which recognizes five different levels of autonomy for vehicles, starting with Level 0, the most basic tier in which the driver controls all operations, as is the case for conventional vehicles today. Level 1 function-specific automation is reached when a single control function is automated, such as when electronic stability control systems help drivers maintain vehicle control, without completely replacing the need for driver vigilance. Level 2 combined function automation occurs when two primary control functions are designed to work together to relieve a driver…